KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed higher against the US dollar for the third consecutive day today, driven by emerging demand for riskier assets as investors react to a series of economic measures announced by big economies to counter the Covid-19 impact, dealers said.
As at 6pm, the local note stood at 4.3300/3400 compared with yesterday’s close of 4.3838/3670.
The US Senate has overwhelmingly backed a US$2 tril (RM8.67 tril) bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries affected by the viral epidemic, as well as providing billions of dollars to buy urgently needed medical equipment.
Meanwhile, RAM Ratings today said the sweeping loan relief measures announced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) this week will preserve the stability of the banking system amid disruptions cause by the pandemic.
“These measures come on the heels of broad-based spillover effects across the economy.
“Although the forbearance will provide a much-needed breather to borrowers in the interim, we believe it could defer the crystallisation of some credit risk to 2021, especially if the pandemic’s impact lasts beyond the payment holiday,” it said in a statement today.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
It increased slightly against the Singapore dollar at 3.0069/0149 from 3.0328/0364 at Wednesday’s close and rose vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7396/7510 from 4.7516/7577 yesterday.
It had weakened against the Japanese Yen to 3.9342/9444 from 3.9334/9384, but appreciated against the British pound to 5.1601/1737 from 5.2473/2530 yesterday. – March 26, 2020, Bernama